27 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan says he cannot understand why the Finance Minister is refusing to meet with the heads of insurance companies who are failing to pay out on “genuine claims”.
Deputy Moynihan was responding to a Parliamentary Question from Fianna Fáil, which revealed that Minister Donohoe has still not met with individual insurers.
“I am being contacted by small business owners of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants who are struggling to get any sort of engagement with their insurers. It’s very disillusioning. These people aren’t even sure if they will be able to reopen when the restrictions are eased because they’ve been hit so hard financially. They are constantly having to fight with their insurance providers just to get some clarity on existing premiums, and this is simply wrong”, said Deputy Moynihan.
“Minister Donohoe has admitted that he is aware of these cases, but the fact that he has not met the insurance company CEOs to date, and is not planning to meet them in the future, is something that I just cannot get my head around.
“Surely the government and the Minister should be standing up for our small indigenous businesses. He should be sending a strong signal to the insurers that their practices will not be tolerated. What is going on is deeply unfair – businesses with business interruption cover for infectious diseases being told that their claims will not be paid out because the policy doesn’t specifically state COVID-19.
“We have a situation here where FBD originally told some businesses they would be covered and now they have done a U-turn on that. The whole thing smacks of bad faith.
“If Minister Donohoe can meet the CEOs of the pillar banks why can’t he meet the bosses of the insurance companies? There are businesses in Cork and across the country that will go to the wall if their insurance doesn’t pay out. We should be doing everything we can to support these small companies and that includes getting tough with insurers”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.